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Tracy Frank, Published April 29 2011

She’s outgrown Legos: New home design company adds a woman’s touch

WEST FARGO – Holly Rieger had always wanted to design homes.

As a child, she liked drawing and playing with Legos.

She even renovated a doll house her father built for her when she was 6 because he hadn’t measured her Barbie or included stairs.

Now, after 16 years as an architect, 12 of those primarily focused on single-family homes, Rieger is president of a new home design company, Holly & Company Classic Homes.

“It’s a dream come true,” Rieger said. “I’ve wanted to do this since I was a little kid.”

The company, which started in November, is a division of the architecture and construction management firm Helenske Design Group. Rieger will eventually take over ownership of Holly & Company.

Rieger said what sets Holly & Company apart from other homebuilders is her architecture background and designing efficient plans with very little wasted space.

Women are becoming a major force in homebuying, and as a female designer, Rieger understands how women process things, she said.

“We walk into a place, and we process it more on an emotional level,” she said. “Guys are a little more on the nuts and bolts.”

She also focuses on how clients are going to live in the home, Rieger said.

The first Holly & Company plan, called the Scheffer two-story, will be featured in the 2011 Spring Parade of Homes and is located at 3492 Loberg Drive in West Fargo’s Shadow Wood development.

It’s a 2,094-square-foot, three-bedroom, 2½-bath home with an attached garage that can fit four cars, parked two deep.

The main floor has an office or flex room, living room with fireplace, dining room, kitchen with pantry, mud room and half bath. The second floor has three bedrooms with walk-in closets, a master suite with an attached bathroom, a second full bathroom and a laundry room.

The 963-square-foot basement is unfinished.

Rieger hopes to eventually have about six plans from which to choose. She will also offer custom designs.

Details include an extra-deep recess for the refrigerator so it doesn’t stick out from the wall, a walk-in pantry in the kitchen with outlets for appliances, and a wall niche between the first and second floors with an outlet to allow for lighted decorating.

The home lists for $269,900 and includes the lot price and upgrades.

Llonna Helenske, a real estate agent with Park Co. Realtors, has been showing the home and said people are really excited about the attention to detail.

“I think it’s a niche that hasn’t been filled up until now,” she said of Holly & Company. “She has more insight to details and flow that are really going to make a comfortable home for someone.”

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526